Dave Davis discusses three things that are important for Jürgen Klopp to address while Liverpool are on a training camp in La Manga.
With the Reds off to La Manga for a warm weather training camp, the season is carefully poised. After a disastrous January, we’re no longer in any cup competition and top four is the aim. There’s clear evidence of progress based on last season, but Jürgen Klopp and his charges have plenty of things to work on in the warm and before the next game.
It sounds straight forward and something that the current squad have already done, but it’s needed now more than ever. The meeting that Jordon Henderson called suggested that everyone knows they’ve not been living up to expectations in recent times and honesty was needed. Strange as it may sound, Klopp may even allow a few beers to be drank and songs to be sung, though not quite in the Riise-Bellamy style. January has gone, there will be no changes to the squad and everyone needs to be pushing for the same goal. Whilst the first XI pretty much picks itself, we may well need others to be called upon at times. Never underestimate the importance of a tight-knit squad.
The Achilles heel of the side since the dawn of time it seems. Klopp always stated that with time on the training field, they could work on what’s needed. We’ve still shipped thirty goals in the league and a number have come from set-pieces. Neither ‘keeper appears that confident on crosses and the players don’t seem to react to the second ball or show enough aggression to clear their lines. It may still be a longer-term solution needed, but Klopp will be demanding more of the current players he has at his disposal. Aside from Matip, we’re not the tallest and Lovren will instantly slot back in on his return.
Ball into the front three
Mane rightly took the majority of the plaudits for the win over Spurs, but the performance of Roberto Firmino rightly drew praise form the manager. Liverpool look most dangerous with a Mane-Firmino-Coutinho axis and when those players are on the ball in full flow. We’ve enjoyed plenty of possession in recent games, but playing sideways and amongst the back four doesn’t hurt the opposition. The Reds have to look at how they can get the ball into the feet of the front three quickly and let them and Lallana work their magic. Harsh as it sounds, we look better without Can in there and Wijnaldum had his best game by some distance on Saturday.
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There’s been talk about the pressing element, however, with the rest that they’ll enjoy during February this should take care of itself. Klopp has talked about thirteen cup finals left to play and that’s the mentality that’s needed. This race maybe going right to the wire, but it’s the groundwork done in the next few weeks that will have a huge impact.
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